Google got 71K complaints, removed 1.54L URLs in May-June

The internet giant, which made the disclosure in compliance with India’s new IT Rules, said the complaints pertain to third-party content which is believed to violate local laws or personal rights on Google’s social media platforms

A monthly transparency report published by Google has revealed that the global internet giant has deleted more than 1.54 lakh pieces of content after receiving 71,148 complaints from individual users in India in May and June.

Reports said the US-based firm has removed an additional 11.6 lakh pieces of content in May and June as part of automated detection.

In June, Google had received around 36,265 complaints from users in India, leading to deletion of 83,613 pieces of content. The number is quite high when compared to the number of complaints and deletions in May and April.

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The US-based company, which made the disclosure in compliance with India’s new IT Rules, said it made 59,350 deletions acting upon 27,700 complaints on alleged violation of local laws and personal rights, in April. The number of complaints and deletions went up to 34,883 and 71,132 respectively in May.

Under the new IT Rules, digital platforms having more than 5 million users are mandated to publish periodic compliance reports every month. They are also required to specify the details of complaints received and action taken thereof.

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Google in its report released on Friday said that the complaints pertain to third-party content which is believed to violate local laws or personal rights on Google’s SSMI (significant social media intermediary) platforms.

In May, the company classified the flagged content under several categories including copyright (70,365), trademark (753), counterfeit (5), other legal (4), circumvention (3) and graphic sexual content (2).

The company clarified that while a single complaint may flag multiple items that could be related to similar or different pieces of content, each unique URL in a specific complaint has been considered as an individual ‘item’ that has been deleted.

While June had the maximum number of complaints, the transparency report said the largest number of content was removed under the copyright segment (83,054), followed by trademark (532), counterfeit (14), circumvention (4), other legal (2), graphic sexual content (1) and defamation (1).

Talking about automated detection, Google said it invests heavily in fighting harmful content online and uses technology to detect and remove it from its platforms (including YouTube).

“This includes using automated detection processes for some of our products to prevent the dissemination of harmful content such as child sexual abuse material and violent extremist content. Automated detection enables us to act more quickly and accurately to enforce our guidelines and policies,” the company noted.

These removal actions may result in removing the content or terminating bad actors’ access to the Google service.

The volume of automated detection is close to 10 times that of user complaints, the company said.

Google has been publishing its Transparency Report since 2010 that provides details on government requests for content removals on a biannual basis. The company also reports on YouTube content removals quarterly.

(With inputs from agencies)

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